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A 321st Garland of British Light Music Composers

We begin with Harold Thomas Scull, born in 1898, conductor, organist, Secretary of the Performing Right Society and composer, mainly of brass music: Trombones to the fore, Trumpet Piece for a Ceremonial Occasion and Galatea.

Now for four figures connected with broadcasting in some way or other: Albert Sandler the violinist was, for many years, associated with radio’s Grand Hotel programme as leader of the Palm Court Orchestra and an inveterate and inventive arranger. Ann Driver MBE, whose floreat was roughly the 1930s to the 1950s, was concerned particularly with musical broadcasts to young children for which she composed; other works by her included a Suite for concert band and Sarabande for piano. Frank Wade, born in 1908 and educated at Manchester University, was Head of BBC Light Music Programmes from 1955 and also composed incidental music for radio and TV and published arrangements of folk songs. Ken Bolam is worth a mention for his TV signature tunes.

Philip L Scowcroft November 2002

A 322nd Garland of British Light Music Composers

Many of our composers in this 322nd posy were involved, for at least some of their careers, with teaching in schools or other establishments.

First there was Walter Kendall Stanton, born in 1891, and educated at Lancing and Merton College Oxford, school teacher, Professor at Bristol University, conductor and, earlier in his career, Musical Director of the BBC Midland Region. Most of his compositions were however, apart from some lightish partsongs, on the serious side. Then Percy Marshall Young (b. 1912) has been writer, arranger and composer: his original portfolio includes the Lea Hall overture for massed brass bands and some music for children. Freda Dinn, born in 1910, earns a mention especially for her music for recorders. Then there was Marion Roberts Anderson, born in Plymouth in 1892, producer of much music for movement (for young children), children's cantatas like The Story of Persephone and Pandora's Box and the piano solo Vauxhall Gardens.

The Blackpool-born Robert Atherton, born in 1910, was a conductor, lecturer and teacher whose compositions included a Sine Nomine overture and an Intermezzo for small orchestra. Herbert Kenneth Clatyton (b. 1920), teacher and adjudicator, composed an operetta, Bows and Belles, Tangita for two pianos and for piano and recorders, Shepherd's Tune and Evening.Graham Garton (b.1920), Hull-born, was educated at the Royal Academy and wrote music for Alice in Wonderland and Julius Caesar and an orchestral novelty The Lincoln Imp. Haydn Francis Lewis, a native of Bridgend, (1910), who became Music Adviser to Derbyshire, then to Somerset, produced a Suite on Themes by Handel for youth orchestra and other music for school broadcasts. Patrick Chares Rivers (b. 1932), whose educational interests primarily embraced brass bands with compositions like Off the Cuff (1960), Portrait of Brunel (1970), sundry marches and the two rhapsodies Sons of the Waves (based on sea songs) and A Folk Rhapsody.

One or two apparent exceptions to finish: May Mukle, the distinguished cellist who trained at the Royal Academy of Music, for her Two Fancies for cello and Charles Anderson, conductor of the Oldham Rifles (brass) band in the 1920s, for whom he wrote the march ORB which was popular in its day, in 1895.

Philip L Scowcroft

November 2002

 

A 323rd Garland of British Light Music Composers

John Hotchkis , born in 1916, in Taunton, was a figure often to be encountered in the 1950s or thereabouts, as conductor and composer of incidental music for radio, TV and films.

During the first half of the 20th century Percival Horace Osborne was active as organist and conductor in theatres and cinemas and as composer too has titles including Miskoka Waltz, Amour Perdu, Chanson d'Amour, a march, The Broadcaster and Red, Purple and Gold. Another organist, and a very popular one, was Harold Clarke Norbert Smart, born in 1921, he composed the theme music for Father's Doing Fine and several novelty numbers including Whistling Kettle, Cossack Dance, Caribbean Romance, and Night Prowl. Still another organist was George Tootell, born in 1886, who was also a conductor, His compositions ranged quite widely: a comic opera A Knight of the Road, the orchestral suite, Manx Scenes, many children's operettas and musical plays bearing titles like Tangles, The Quest of Imelda and Peggy and the Pixies and film music in considerable profusion.

Ray Terry , born in 1906, was a music editor, a busy arranger and composed such numbers as Burma Road, Canzonetta, Hoppitty Hop, the Scottish TV Newsreel March and a Sports March.

Finally, I think we can mention in the 'light' category the Sheffield resident Herman Lindors OBE, who conducted many orchestras in the North and who composed originally for just one performance (in a concert in Sheffield City Hall to mark the Coronation of 1953) a highly tuneful shortish piece for chorus orchestra and brass band entitled Dedication. He was persuaded to revise it shortly afterwards; I heard both performances. Lindors was a musical amateur but he contributed considerably.

Philip L Scowcroft

November 2002

A 324th Garland of British Light Music Composers

A couple of anecdotal mentions to start with: Ernest Broadbent for his genre miniature Penguin's Playtime, which I know only from a version for (pipe) organ; and Melanie Pappenheim for her music for the radio play Outlying Islands, broadcast in 2002 on the BBC.

John Anthony Maclain (really called John Lain), who was born in Chingford, Essex in 1933, is a writer of popular songs, of which we can instance Dream Awhile, Now You Have Gone, The Poop Scoop Song and a setting of The Lord's Prayer.

Backtracking more than a century, we encounter the name Alfred Mellon (1820-67), a conductor who directed a series of concerts between 1858 and 1866 and who was known in his day for his comic opera Victorine from which the air I Never Can Forget became especially popular.

Ernest Melvin , active in the 1920s and 1930s, composed many popular songs, soem of them incorporated into revues like The Co-Optimists andThe Show's The Thing, other separates: Green Apples, I Thought Mebbe I Would - An' I Did, The Michaelmas Mystery, Saint Paul on Ludgate Hill and, on the instrumental side, Melvin's intermezzo, The Dorset Daisy achieved some popularity in its orchestration by Hubert Bath.

Philip L Scowcroft

November 2002

A 325th Garland of British Light Music Composers

I start with mentions of more composers of music for accordion: Colin Richards, for example, for Tango for Two (1977), Edward Lusk (Sweet Coffee Samba, 1984) and Kenneth G Farren (Joyeux Waltz, 1976).

Ted Waite , active around the 1920s, composed music hall songs such as I've Never Seen a Straight Banana. I rather suspect that he was not identical with E.W. Waite who is credited with piccolo solos such as Les Diablotins.

Two military band composers were Anthony John Richards, who in 1960 wrote the regimental quick march of the Army Air Corps (entitledRecce-Flight) and Alfred Young who is worth a mention for his paso doble The Matador (1965). Derek Wainwright is similarly worth mentioning for his orchestral miniature Idling, which appeared in 1951.

Hugo Felix (1866-1934) was born in Austria where he began his career as a writer of musical comedies and died in the United States where for many years he achieved similar success well into the 1920s. In between, however, a number of his works were premiered on the London stage. These included Les Merveilleuses, staged at Daly's in 1906 with some success, The Antelope (1908), a spectacular failure (this included a setting of Kipling's The Drums of the Fore and Aft) and The Pearl Girl (1913) which managed 254 outings at the Shaftesbury Theatre. Felix even contributed a song Or Thereabouts to The Quaker Girl in 1910.

Philip L Scowcroft

November 2002


 

 


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